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“Now that we are parents, we look at protecting children in a whole new light. We think of what we can learn as parents to protect our child, and what else we can do to protect other children in our community,” said Rachel.
Rachel joined SCAN’s Board of Young Professionals (BYP) 4 years ago after volunteering at the BYP’s annual Santa Shop event.
“I became involved with the Santa Shop after a good friend told me how amazing it was, and the interaction you had with families served by SCAN,” said Rachel. “The holidays are a great time to give back and do what you can to help others in your community. The Santa Shop event works directly with families served by SCAN, and really creates a wonderful evening for children and a great holiday for those families.”
SCAN’s Board of Young Professionals organizes and plans the Santa Shop event, which served over 300 children last year. Families involved within SCAN’s programs are invited to come to the event. Parents or caregivers are paired with a volunteer and “shop” the available toys, all donated by area organizations. Volunteers then wrap the presents to be taken home. Children enjoy pictures with Santa, holiday films, crafts and snacks while they wait.
“I really look forward to this event each year. I have been able to have my husband and brother help with the event, and made it something we do as a family each year,” said Rachel. “For the past few years, parents and caregivers have written thank you’s to SCAN, and let us know what this means for their family. They are the most meaningful notes, and really make you take it all in and see the impact of this event. We always wish we could do more.”
Aside from the Santa Shop event, of which Rachel is on the planning committee for, she continues to be involved with SCAN throughout the year. From the recent Shagbark dinner, to the summer Surf & Snout event, and the past 5k Race to Protect Children. Rachel is a dedicated volunteer and supporter of SCAN from events to advocacy.
As a BYP member, Rachel has taken Stewards of Children training, a nationally recognized child sexual abuse prevention program that SCAN requires board members to take.
“I took the Stewards of Children training class prior to being a parent, however it was so powerful that I immediately started a conversation with my friends who were parents. We discussed how to talk with your kids about this sensitive issue, and what you should be paying attention to as a parent. I think it’s such an important conversation to have, and it’s something I continue to carry with me as we raise our child,” said Rachel. “These are the conversations not only parent’s need to be having, but every adult. It takes an entire community to help protect our children.”